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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Tried to Sleep Later

I set my alarm for 7 instead of 6 this morning.  But at 6:03 I was wide awake and got out of bed.  I tried to sleep later because I stayed up later.  I was doing important stuff.

First I watched the Cubs game and they won.  Very important.

I finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Good.  Very very important to finish a book.

I watched 2 episodes of Boston Legal on DVD, borrowed from my parents.  Another way I can help them, borrow their stuff.  And as I established yesterday if is very very very important for me to continue to help my parents.

I wanted to watch another episode.  Actually I wanted to just keep watching and watching.  I considered doing that and then calling in sick to work today.  Because if I did that, society would obviously consider me off balance and needing a day to recuperate my mental well being.  But I didn't do that.  Because I just don't do that kind of thing.  Usually.

Once when I lived in California, I was driving to work one day and something in me snapped and I turned my car around and went to the beach. 

I went behind some rocks and took off my clothes and sunbathed naked.  Then in the afternoon, feeling all sneaky and proud of myself, I got dressed and stepped out from behind the rocks to the main beach to discover...hundreds of naked men.  Not interested in girls kind of men.  HAHAHAHA.  I found the gay nude beach all by myself by accident.  While playing hooky from work. 

No one at work commented on my sunburned face the next day.  It was that kind of job.  It was that time of my life. Yes, my 20's.  And of course it was California.

So, today, in spite of getting not-quite-enough sleep I will go about my work day as if I've had a full 8 hours.  Because it is that kind of job.   I'm in my 50's.  And, most important of all, I can take a nap later!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let's Get Real, Here

When my parents, who are in their 70's, come to visit, I usually spend at least part of the visit trying to convince them to move back to Illinois, so that "I can help them when they need help."  Well, on this visit, here's how I "helped" them.

First my mom mopped my kitchen floor and cleaned out my refrigerator.  There are no Before pictures because it would just be too disgusting.  But here is an after picture:

Then the three of us tackled my garage.  Before:


See how much I help them?

Finally my dad trimmed the huge, out-of-control Burning Bush in my front yard.  Just to be even more help, I made sure his trimmers were old, dull and rusty. 

Later mom did my grocery shopping.  I took a nap. 

I am proud to be such a big help to my parents. I really do hope they'll move to Illinois, at least part of the year, someday so I can continue to help them so much!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fighting and Pies...Not Pie Fights, Please!

I don't think I'm gonna get to write my blog right now.  My kids are whining, no wait, now they are fighting about which one of them woke up the other one and how.  So I'll hit the pause button and come back later.

(one hour later)

Revenge happens.  After bugging Sierra for a while, Jeremiah  finally received her foot planted squarely in his face.  A little blood happened, but I think he was more stunned than actually hurt.  I intervened at that point, per advice of Dr. Moore, local shrink, who says, "Let them work it out unless there's blood."

So, now they seem to have gotten their general irritation with each other's existence out of the way, and are back to being buddies.  What is it about siblings?

Well, now that peace is restored, I will get to the topic of the day which is chocolate pie. 

I'm gonna make a chocolate pie for my book group tonight.  I can't say why in much detail, because I'm gonna lend my copy of The Help to my mom so she can read it, but I will say that a chocolate pie is featured in the plot of the story.  No Spoiler Comments, Please, from those of you who've read the book.  Thank you.

I am going to confess now that the only chocolate pie I've ever made before today is just to make a pie crust (I'm good at that) and then put chocolate pudding in the filling and refrigerate  But since my book group members are women of refined taste and elegance...wait, let me say that a little differently:  Women of Refined and Elegant Taste...they are going to get a little more serious culinary endeavor.  For better or worse.  I might just get a box of chocolate pudding as a backup though.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More about the month of June

I had a wonderfully busy day yesterday with my parents.  Mom and I went to the poetry reading at the McLean County Museum of History in the morning.  We all went to Jeremiah's baseball game in the afternoon.  Yes, they played in that 90 degree heat and humidity and his team even won 11-6.  In the evening we went to the 10-minute plays at Heartland Theater, which were delightful.    After the play we chatted with some neighbors from over 30 years ago that we found were sitting next to us at the play!  (I felt like a rock star when a woman sitting next to my dad turned to us and said, "Excuse me, but are you The Tingleys?")    There was a beautiful full moon last night.  June's full moon is called Strawberry Moon.  I learned that on my fall-back website for blog ideas, the Wacky and Bizarre Holiday website.

While I was there browsing, I found an interesting fact:  June is Celibacy Awareness Month.  Are you aware of celibacy?  If not, consider yourself lucky.  I thought this was the celibacy decade.  Or is.  Or, you know...

And coincidentally,  June is also Entrepreneurs "Do It Yourself" marketing month.

Well, that makes sense.

So while you are being aware of celibacy and how to do it yourself, you can also celebrate:

National Watermelon Seed Spitting Week is June 20-27th.  It's amazing when you are aware of celibacy what other hobbies you find time for!

Decide to Be Married Day - today, after all that celibacy and doing it yourself awareness, you might just succumb to that one, eh?  Or not.

And finally, National HIV Testing Day is today.  Which you won't need if you are sufficiently "aware" of celibacy and don't get a blood transfusion in a remote developing country. But if you are deciding to be married you might consider it, anyway.

 Well, I have no strawberries or watermelon seeds.  But I DO have a refrigerator full of rhubarb.  So today I will be making rhubarb pies!  And being aware of all the blessing that June has brought my way.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


If you've been reading this blog since it's inception, you know that my hummus addiction is partly due to my friend Aniko plying me with hummus last year on my trip to Florida.  And it was my friend Aniko who pointed out that the acronym for Hummus Anonymous is HA.  hahaha.

Well, today I will be sharing a story about Aniko's son, Simon.  He grew up in Ecuador, very very very bilingual.  And smart as a whip.  One day young Simon was talking about something that made him feel really good, and he said "it gives me a lot of inspirement."  Aniko and I thought that was a good word, just as good as the word he was looking for, inspiration.  Maybe even better.  Yes, definitely better.

In my mind, "inspirement" has been the quintessential made-up word.  But now that might be usurped by my mom's made up word, Beejeebies.

And here is the guy who was the inspirement for the word Beejeebies:

Told ya.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chef Sierra

Thursday night after swimming lessons were over, and Sierra received her pass to go on to Level 3.2 next week, she decided she was hungry and wanted to cook something on the stove top.  With supervision, of course.

So first she scrambled the eggs:

Then she cooked 'em up

No dish is complete without a sprig of basil on top:

Yum, yum...she's doubly proud now of her swimming AND her cooking!

Oh, wait!  She forgot she just got an apron.
Well, time to make some more eggs!  Just because...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hummus, Basil, and Coffee (Not together)

I converted another friend to the hummus cause yesterday!  My buddy Willemina said she didn't like hummus, but after trying the Sabra brand pine nut hummus, she has switched to the dark side as well.   Bwah-ha-ha!

Of course she had to say she liked it, because she wanted me to witness a document for her and say she is of sound mind.  So, she didn't have much choice.  But I do think she really DID like it...she ate some even after I signed the paper, too.

I made a salad yesterday out of tomatoes, fresh mozarella, and basil out of my garden.  Topped with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar...it was so danged good.  I have some leftover mozarella and the basil is profuse,

so I think I will make more of that today.  If only my garden tomatoes were ready, too...ooh la la, imagine!...but they are not.

I am looking forward to getting some coffee this morning.  I am out of coffee at my house.  That is one sad thing.  But the weather outside this morning is cool and fresh, and I'm going to buy some coffee beans and make some coffee and sit on my happy behind on my deck. 

Have a happy hummus-filled day y'all!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Newest Career Idea

This isn't really a new idea, but I'm airing it publicly for the first time.

I want to own and run a retreat center.  I could employ most of my friends, too!  Susan would  run the spiritualish retreats.  Jean, the healing retreats.  Kathy, the writer's retreats.  Jill and Tony,  the art retreats.  Caroline would be the chef-in-charge and also run the crafty retreats.   She can bring Elizabeth to keep all our high tech gear working and also just to keep Caroline happy!

Looks like I'll be doing laundry, payroll, and washing dishes.  Fine with me.

Could we all live there if we have our own little cabins?  Space for kids and dogs to run.

Dad and Tony could do all our maintenance, remodeling, and repairs.  Ohh, looks like Tony will be the highest paid employee with double duty!  Bob could care for the grounds and also run the dog-training retreats.

We need a major gardener and goat herder or two as well.  Mom?  Okay, I'll help with the goats.

Okay, I'll take care of the goats myself and also any chickens.

So, God, what do you say?  Are you in?  Just chip in my 40 acres and a mule, and it's a deal!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today's forecast: Hot and Humid

It's gonna be another hot and muggy day in Central Illinois.  Must be summer! 

I think the humidity, in addition to causing me to sweat profusely if cold air isn't blowing directly on me at all times, and to aforementioned issues with the volume of my hair, also has caused my brain to slow down to a crawl.  To the speed of molasses running uphill in winter.  I'm running on Turtle Time, in slllooooowww motion.  Or at least my brain is.

I'm just thinking...okay, there was a very long pause there...um, lost my train of thought. 

Like I said.
I had my second interview for the job I was looking at and have decided it would be "out of the frying pan and into the fire" so for now I'm staying put.  I guess it's good to look around once in awhile to see if you really have it so bad...I'm thinking too slowly to decide if I do or not.  Probably better wait until the humidity subsides before I make any big decisions.

I think a job selling snow cones sounds good today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Unknown Poet

In most of the world, the name Miner Brock doesn't ring a bell.  I googled the name with and without the middle initial W.  I googled the name of his book of poems that I have, Birds That Frequent the Night.  All I found were references to other Brocks and birds called the nightjar.  So, I'm here today to tell you what I know about Miner.

Here's the first thing I know...he's from a little town in western Illinois called Ipava.  He toured the country as a Shakespearean actor and then returned to his roots and worked with young people in various programs.  He helped coach my mom when she was practicing to give a speech in school.  And he was apparently a good listener.

The poems he wrote were of people he knew in the area where he lived.  It happens to be the same area where Edgar Lee Masters hailed from and made famous in Spoon River Anthology.  But Brock's poems are more gentle and in the author's notes he says "Unhappy with some of the unsavory images of life in the Great Mid West, I want to share some of the stories I have listened to...Stories of the niceties of gentle living, of the thoughtfulness and courtesy that have made loyalties and friendships endure, as well as some of the tragic, of the ugly, and of the aggressiveness of the half century past---"

The copy of his book that I have was given to me by my mother, who was given it by her mother, who was given it by Miner himself.  He wrote in the front of the book, "To Jessie Rinker , always room for one more in her heart and her home."

So when you read this poem below, there will be no doubt who it's about:

A Home

Her heart is as big as her house is dirty.
You shudder when you think of going there
But when she scoots a pile of clothes and toys
Onto the floor, under and behind the sofa
So she can sit beside you
A singular warmth makes you know
There will always be room for you,
And one more in her heart.
Somehow her house ceases to be dirty.
It becomes just an untidy home.
A neighbor's child and one of her own
In a running screaming tug-of-war
Over a battered old toy truck...
A hug for each of them...
A look straight into her eyes...
A dilapidated toy sedan from under the sofa...
A slap on each of their butts...
"Now you two get along." 
You know that she lives the beauty of
"Suffer little children to come unto me."


Sunday, June 20, 2010


Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there who might be reading my blog.   Oh, that's probably just MY dad!  Happy Father's Day, Dad!!! 

I will just say a few of the great things about my dad that are on my mind. 

One of the things that my siblings and I like to do it say how we are like Dad.  Connie brags every time she fixes something, "Well, I AM Ted Tingley's daughter."  Mark says he got his love of public speaking from Dad.  From liking to do crossword puzzles to having high arches in our feet, you name it, if we got it from Dad then we will tell anyone who will listen!

Mom told me that when I was in kindergarten the teacher told her I believed my dad knew everything.  Well, duh, of course I believed that.  It's True!  Okay, there were a few years when I didn't believe it...you know those rebellious years between about 5th grade and parenthood...but once I had kids of my own, I KNEW my dad knew everything.   (He's even heard of Steve Goodman!)

Well, Happy Father's Day Dad!  I'll see you Friday!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Game Ball

After each baseball game, the coach gives a "game ball" to one of the players.  Last night Jeremiah got the game ball!  He played catcher 3 innings and did a great job.  He played 3rd base a couple innings and did a great job.  He got a nice hit to right field, after a long dry spell of no hits in a couple games. But I think the reason he got the game ball is that he stayed awake past the 3rd inning in the late game and hustled his little behind off in the field up to the very end. 

He's pretty excited about that game ball.  He came home and showed it to Wolf.  Wolf has no interest in balls or any kind of toys.  But Jeremiah was convinced that Wolf loved the game ball and might even chew on it some day.  So he asked me if I could buy a nice display box to keep the ball in. 

Of COURSE I can do that.  (Once I find out where...)

Sierra got to climb trees with Sam for only part of the game.  The distant sound of thunder made Sam's dad, wisely, suggest they get out of the tallest tree.  So then Sierra and Sam played with Sierra's homemade slingshot...which she calls The Catapult.  I think they were slinging little pine cones, which even the most nervous parent would probably find safe. 

Baby Matthew was back at the game.  (Remember the slobbered on Cubs hat?  THAT baby Matthew. )  While I was holding Matthew last night he let loose one of the biggest baby sneezes in the history of babyhood, right on my chest.  I looked down and said, "I have boogers on my boobs" and his mom said, "Yes, I bet you DO!"  Then Matthew went back to his mom and I went to get some kleenex.

After the game it was home for some ice cream and off to sleep.  A pretty great Friday night, all in all!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Entry in Which I Pick on My Mom...Again

Thursday I had hummus and Triscuits crackers for lunch.  Triscuits are like shredded wheat smashed into a flat square.  It's not a texture I usually go for, but with hummus I like the combination.  Especially if the hummus is Sabra, the extra smooth brand (probably hydrogenated but let's not worry about minor health risks here....) and if the Triscuits have a little flavor like Garden Herb.  Okay, maybe not flavor, because honestly how can you add flavor to what essentially is straw, but the idea that there are garden herbs (what other kind of herbs are there?) makes it seem like it should have more flavor and...oh, who am I kidding?  I would eat hummus on cardboard and think it was just wonderful, because I so love my hummus.

There.  Yesterday I realized my blog has strayed from it's original purpose for too long, which is to...um..oh, write something every day.  Nevermind.

I am going to have to write a blog entry about Steve Goodman for the uneducated among my readers.  And my mom is gonna cry in shame when she realizes she actually said "I don't care" about this guy.  She thinks he's just some two-bit drug-addicted guittar-pickin' hippie...Mom, for shame!  Remember what you thought about Jose Feliciano? 

However, I am now feeling a little uneducated myself since discovering there is an 800 page biography about Steve out there.  Clay, thanks for finding and responding to my humble hummus blog.  I will definitely check out the book, and probably have to give my mom a copy for Christmas.

Tonight Jeremiah has another night baseball game "Under The Lights" is what the kids call it...we have a game under the lights.  I think he'll be lucky to stay awake into the 3rd inning, since he was up late last night watching Game Seven of the NBA Finals, and today he's going to a water park all day up near Chicago.  Sierra will spend the entire baseball game climbing trees at the park with her friend Sam (a real person, not her stuffed skunk).  And I'll be sitting on my happy behind watching yet another sporting event.  I love summer!

Well, I have to go now....time to call my mom and apologize.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baseball Cards

Jeremiah's baseball team pictures arrived Wednesday night.  They are, well, adorable to his parents.  And this year, in addition to the team picture and the wallet size photos, there are Baseball Cards featuring Jeremiah Alomoto.  So, if you think it might be a collectors item someday, give us a call and ask for your autographed card.  Because we ordered 8, but ended up getting 32 of them.  Do we even know 32 people?  Yes, but not 32 people who like baseball.

The Cubs are playing tonight on WGN.  Looks like they will win.  Good.  That will justify my sitting on my happy behind and watching sports yet another night.  First at Oakdale where Jeremiah's team played, and later at home watching the Cubs. 

The furniture and stuff rearranging will have to wait until...Saturday....

CUBS Win!  CUBS Win!  Go Cubs Goooo... etc....Did you know that Steve Goodman wrote that song?  Yeah!  How 'bout that!

If you don't know who Steve Goodman was, then you should review your materials for the Moving to Illinois Entrance Exam.  What?  There was no exam?  What the heck!  They let just anyone in here these days.  Maybe we need some Arizona Attitude here....(just kidding).

And if you no longer live in Illinois but don't know who Steve Goodman was, then you should not be let back  into the state until such time as you can write a 500 word essay on why he was such an amazing guy.  Here's a hint:  great friend of John Prine.  Yes, I'm giving preferential hints to my parents...

So, someday when Jeremiah is a great ball player, and Sierra is writing fabulous song lyrics, someone will blog about how they have a 2010 AJB card of Jeremiah Alomoto age 9, and Sierra's song lyrics about the greatest ball player of all time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Please Do Not Drop By My House Today!

Tuesday night we were supposed to go to a Cornbelters game.  But it rained so much before the game, and Jeremiah wanted to watch the Celtics-Lakers game on TV, and I thought it would be just fine to wait for another day.  So, you'd think I would have started re-organizing my house, half of which has been disrupted by the arrival of the new sofabed.  But no, I sat on my happy behind on the new sofa and watched TV.  I watched part of the game, but it was tooooo sad if you don't like the Lakers.  I don't like the Lakers.  In particular, I don't like Kobe.  But that's not what this blog is about.  Is it?

No. It is about THIS--

Wait!  That's not my sofa bed.  That's not even a picture I took!  But it makes me think I'd better talk to Jeremiah about shaving soon, he's getting so hairy!  Let me try again...

Shoot!  Those are the bed frames sitting in my living room waiting for my friend Laura's husband to come pick them up and give me some money! 

Let's see...no, that's Sierra's room.   No, it hasn't changed a bit since the sofabed was delivered.  It always looks like that.  Sadly.  Please Do NOT Drop By Sierra's Room Today!  Or Ever!  Unless you bring a backhoe!

Ok, ok...here it is:
Yes, my pretty gently-used sofabed.  Soon I will get the rest of the room organized and it can move to it's final resting place.  Well, you can see why you wouldn't want to drop by today.  You'd get put to work!!!  AND I don't have any hummus. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sofabed Part 2

The sofabed did indeed arrive.  The 2 delivery kids were fantastic.   I knew there was a chance it wouldn't go into the room I had planned for it, as the corner is a little tight up there and the hallway isn't very wide.   They were worried about scratching the wall with the feet of the couch.  They looked like they were 12 years old, but they figured it out like grown ups and got it in there with ease.  I told them I hadn't been that impressed since I saw three (big handsome manly)* paramedics pick up my 250 pound patient like he was a toothpick.  The 12 year olds smiled.  Then got into their big truck and drove away.  So I guess they were a little older than 12. 

*Please note, I omitted the words "big handsome manly" when speaking to the 12 year olds.

I'd take a picture of the sofabed, but right now it's made out into a bed and kids are sleeping in it.  You know, it's the new toy.  Soon I will show you my pretty, gently-used, sofabed.  Can you tell I haven't had a new piece of furniture in a while?  At least, one that I didn't find by the curb.

Yes, I did find one of my pieces of furniture by the curb.  No, I'm not telling you which one it is. 

I like having things that have been used by other people.  It's not only "green" and less expensive, but it's nice to wonder...who had this before me?  Did they love it but changed their color schemes?  Did they get tired of that beautiful blue flowered pattern?  Were they moving to a smaller home?  Sometimes when you buy something at a garage sale, you get to find that out.  But if you get it at a thrift store or a consignment shop, then you get to imagine. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Sofabed

A new sofabed is to be delivered this afternoon!  It's really pretty and I hope it will go upstairs into the room which was once my bedroom and is about to become "the guest room."  This way when my parents come to visit they won't feel like they are on the verge of moving into my basement.  That gives them the Willies!!!  (And I don't mean Nelson.)

I'm also going to get a new piece of fabulous art, from the Mixed Media Goddess Jill Tingley Beckham.  It's in her head right now, but soon, oh soon...I hope it will be in my NEW bedroom, the former family room.  (Formerly known as the basement, that gives my parents the Willies.)  Just wait, once I get it fixed up they'll be changing their tune!  (Unless I move the laundry out and make sure the door only locks from the Inside, that will not be happening.  Also unless my kids and I move out of the rest of the house, I'm sure.)

SO, I had that job interview and it went pretty well.  I will tell y'all more later in the week.  And have photos of my new sofabed! 

Hummus la vista, baby!


Sunday, June 13, 2010


Okay, I have to confess, that wasn't really our family in the photograph yesterday.  But you were fooled for a minute, weren't you? 


That really was Smokey the Bear though.  What?  He's not a real talking bear?  Not REAL?  Like the Tooth Fairy and Santa?  Next you'll tell me the Easter Bunny isn't... 


No wonder we have so many forest fires anyway.  People probably don't take his advice seriously since he's a talking "cartoon" bear. 

(Are you SURE he's not real???)  Ok, ok, I believe you.

I've always been a little gullible.  At one point in my life I decided I would stop believing anything that seemed even remotely unlikely.  But I hated feeling so untrustworthy.  I decided I'd rather be duped than suspicious all the time. 

But there is one thing I've never been able to believe...anything I was told I HAD to believe.  Yup, you got it.  The whole Died For Our Sins business.

SO, let's review.
I believe almost anything as long as you don't tell me I have to believe it.  Or else.  Yup, you got it.
 What's that?  Why sure!  I'll be sending you that check for the Brooklyn Bridge tomorrow, first thing!  Thanks!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


When I was a kid, my grandad Tingley called all of his grandchildren either Bill or Feathers.  My dad calls his grandkids all Smokey.
This picture's for YOU, Dad:

I saw a similar billboard today in Bloomington, which inspired this blog entry.

Dad called his 3 daughters by boy's names for nicknames:  I was Mike, Jill was Sam, and Connie was Bill.  (I guess Dad was practicing for grandparenthood by then.)  But when our brother Mark was born, we girls wanted to give him the nickname Sue.  It seemed fair.  And Johnny Cash's song "A Boy Named Sue" was popular.  Dad would have none of it.

Recently I mentioned this to Dad.  He can't believe he wouldn't let us call Mark "Sue."  He's mellowed a bit since then.

And speaking of mellowing:  once when I was in high school, I recommended a very funny movie to my parents.  Blazing Saddles.  They were "disgusted" by it!  15 years later when Mark, (not SUE!) rented it and they watched it with him, they loved it.  When I asked why they had changed their mind about it, Dad said, "Something was wrong with us back then.  We had too many kids!"

Yes, too many kids.  I see that now.  And never argue with a guy with the biggest pitchfork.  That's my motto. 

So back to nicknames:  Jeremiah is called "Miah" sometimes by all of us, "Puppy"sometimes by me, "Brother" sometimes by his dad.  Sierra is "Sisi."  And when they have kids, I'm going to call them all...Sweet Pea for the girls, and Sue for the boys!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chasing the Magic

Thursday June 10th was a pretty ordinary day in the life of our family.  The kids went to summer camp.  I went to work.  In the evening Jeremiah had a baseball game.  He walked twice, got a nice line drive single which scored a run, made a nice put-out throwing to first from center field, and generally had a good game.  Sierra got to climb some evergreen trees beyond the outfield, which is one of her favorite activities.  She got several scrapes and boo boos which allowed her to get some attention and bandaids, which are two of her favorite things as well.  (The attention and bandaids, that is).

The rather amazing things that happened were:
1. Sierra chasing fireflies around the back yard, and
2. Wolf chasing a bunny around in circles in our back yard.

Wolf's hips must have never touched the ground, because no dog with bad hips has ever moved like that before.  He looked like a black cheetah!  The bunny did make it into the neighbor's yard in one piece.  I bet that will teach that bunny a lesson!

Sierra looked like a ballerina in the dark, little lights guiding her across the stage.  She had no idea how beautiful she looked in that moment, thinking instead of the fireflies and trying to capture the magic of that little yellow glow. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Next Career

I'm in one of those moods about my job where I'm thinking....what else can I do to pay the bills?

As it turns out, I probably will have some options.  I'm feeling lucky that way.  I have an interview on Monday for a different job as a PT.  The interview is with my friend Carla's husband, Dave, who just happens to be a VP for a big nursing home chain in Illinois.  The job is one that I think he and I are going to make up for me and try to sell the company on.  SO it may work out or it may not.  But I like how the interview came about.

On Tuesday morning, after a lovely vacation, I dropped the kids off at Day Camp and opened up my work computer.  One message or email after another that rubbed me the wrong way.  Just then Carla called to let me know she'd be coming to the little get-together I was having that night.  I asked her if she could please hire me to come to her house and clean her bathrooms, or something more pleasant than my current job.  She laughed.  Two hours later her husband called me.

I love Carla and Dave.

Then last night while having ice cream with some of the members of the social justice group at my church and listening to 2 people report on a trip to Washington DC they took last month to protest against big banks, wall street, predatory lending and so on...I mentioned I was looking for a new job.  Charline said she would have hired me to manage Crossroads if she hadn't already just hired someone else.  That amazed me.  I said I'd have no idea how to manage a store.  She said, "Well are you willing to be trained?"  And I realized, yes, I am willing to be trained to do something else!

So...does anyone else need their bathrooms cleaned, or...?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Found My Danged Camera

YES!  I found it.  In my suitcase, in a semi-secret compartment for spies, I guess, because I had no idea it was there nor that I had put my camera in it.  But, just because it had to be SomeWhere, I looked in my suitcase once again and...felt a lumpy thing...and then had to search for the right zipper to give me access to my danged camera.

O camera, how I have missed you!

Tuesday night I had some work friends over for an hors d'oeuvre and wine potluck.  Also my fine neighbor Shannon brought me my weekly vegetables from Henry's Farm.  So now I have leftover brownies, Rice Krispie/Cocoa Pebble treats, hummus, spinach dip, AND I have a fresh new head of lettuce, broccoli, some green garlic shoots that are beautiful and curly, and some cilantro.  Life is good.

O wait, I can show you pictures!

Laura, who has 4 sons ages 5 years to 6 weeks, made these treats.  How did she have time to do that?  It's a mystery!  She must have access to nonlinear time!

And the curly green garlic is pretty, too, isn't it?  Ok, well it's different anyway. What the heck am I gonna make out of that?  You'll be sure to hear about it when I know.

Here's my knobstopper in action!  Keeping the bottle of rooster juice fresh.

It's a great thing to spend time with friends and find lost items, quiet a little fussy baby, and eat good food.  All in all, it was a danged fine day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Day without Blogging

A day without blogging was not exactly like a day without sunshine, though it did seem to throw me off my game a bit. 

In the morning when I could not blog, I seemed to spend a lot of time in the stage of Denial, where I just kept trying to go to Blogger and then stare dumbly at the screen that said "blogger is not available."  I did that more times than I care to admit.

Responsibilities then interfered with my non-blogging...oh those pesky 1. children, 2. dog, 3. students in my class at the Community Cancer Center, 4. medical appointment, 5. children, 6. children, and 7. children.

It was the kids first day at Fairview Day Camp.  Every year the campers get a t-shirt.  The camp that has won the Summer Olympic competition between Fairview, Maxwell, and Anderson camps from the summer before gets the much-coveted tie-dye design t-shirts.  Last year Fairview won, so the kids now have cool green tie-dye day camp shirts.

I'd put a photo in here if I hadn't lost my danged camera on my trip to Tennessee.

I made a special trip to Jewel Osco before camp yesterday to get each kid their own special bottle of sunscreen.  Sierra left hers in the car (I later took it to her) and Jeremiah apparently forgot he had to put it on above the level of his shoulders, as he is now pink on face and neck.  

In the evening, Jeremiah had a baseball game.  In the third inning he got to pitch.  He threw 8 pitches and the inning was over.  First batter hit the ball back to him and he caught it.  Second batter hit the ball to him and he threw to first base for the out.  Third batter reached on an error.  Fourth batter hit the ball to the first baseman for an out.

He was, as you can imagine, thrilled.

Then the fourth inning proved the saying "rookie pitchers will break your heart every time."

I also did a lot of reading while blogger was unavailable.  I finished Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler.  I read some poems in the books my mom gave me this weekend:  Birds that Frequent the Night, and Spoon River Anthology.  The kids and I read Chapter Two of Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer.

Those books will be the subject of another blog, on another day...Lord willin' and the creek don't rise!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Home Again

I just want to say that for the first time driving to and/or from Tennessee with my kids, we made the trip home today in less than 8 hours.  We stopped to pee and get breakfast in Clarksville (not on the last train), we stopped to pee and make lunch sandwiches to eat in the car somewhere in southern Illinois, and we stopped to get gas in Effingham.  Wait is that possible?  Two 8 year olds and a grown woman only stopped to pee twice in 470 miles.  We must have stopped somewhere else too.  But the two things I want to say are

1.  I'm proud of us for making this trip so quickly and easily, and

2.  I'm embarrassed that I even care how long it takes me to drive somewhere as if "making good time"  actually matters.  Not.

So, the trip was fun, and we now have Wolf back home, too.  He is  pretending to sleep on his doggie bed (an old kids Dora couch that apparently was very popular with the other dogs this week at Pam's house!) but I think he really is waiting for a walk. 

My plan for this blog was a reunion photo of the kids and Wolf.  But I left my camera in Tennessee, apparently.  So I'm back to fewer photos for the time being.  As in probably zero photos unless I can use some old ones!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Having Your Cake and Eating It Too!

On Friday Jeremiah and Grandad went fishing again, while Sierra and I made a trip to Nashville. We went to see Aunt Jill at work.  She works at a place she and about 10 other incredibly cool and creative people make "knobstoppers" (corks with doorknobs or other unusual items attached to them that you can use to recork your wine bottle after it's opened), lamps made out of old silverware, and all kinds of other amazing things.  The store is called CAKE.  I'm feeling somewhat inept about describing what they make there, but fortunately ace photographer Sierra was on the job.  Here are some of her pictures of the store and the work area.

Some of the knobstoppers on display.

Aunt Jill makes some of these lamps.

More very cool stuff!

Aunt Jill makes these, too.

This store has a website if you want to look at more of their wonderful items for sale and it is http://www.knobstoppers.com/

After our tour of Cake, and my "purchase" of a glass doorknob stopper (purchase kind of like at Babbitt's sometimes when Kathy is behind the register...ooops)...Sierra and I proceeded to eat our way through the day. First we went out for coffee with Aunt Jill at Pranza, "Jersey Italian Coffee" where Sierra and I shared an apple and then she ate most of a humongous chocolate muffin.  Then we had lunch at Chili's with Aunt Connie, Uncle Jim and cousin Benjamin.  Finally dinner at Grandma and Grandad's which was one of those perfect summertime meals.  We had salmon cooked on the grill, corn on the cob, fresh green beans, and coleslaw.  It was so so so good.

Dessert?  Are you nuts?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ellen-isms and Theodore's Contraptions

I have been having a great time teasing my mom on this visit.  It's easy to do.  She once called my aunt and told her she had an autopsy that day at the doctor's office.

Oops, biopsy.

Well...this time I have a couple new Ellenisms for you.  And then after that you can find them on your own at http://www.lizting.blogspot.com/

Yup, my mom is going to start writing a blog.  Not every day, so she says.  But I'm sure it will be entertaining.

Wednesday she was talking about movies.  She was telling us about a movie with Denzel Washington in it.  Then later she said, No not Denzel.  No, it was..umm..that other guy.... 

Okay at this point I'm thinking Forrest Whittaker?  Or Danny Glover?  Or...

No, she had Denzel confused with that Other other guy.   Robert.  Robert Redford.  Colorblind casting would not bother my mom at all.

Thursday morning I helped my mom set up her blog.  Later I noticed she was looking at the computer and taking notes.   The piece of paper she was writing on was about 5 x7 inches big, and she was writing in large letters.  I asked her what she was doing, and she said..."I'm writing down what I know."

I thought if she didn't need a bigger piece of paper she should at least write smaller..  When I mentioned that she probably wanted to flip me off but she laughed instead.

On to my dad's ability to build fabulous things.  This is the pergola that he designed and built with no help.  He said the hardest part was getting the frame up against the house by himself. 

So on Thursday afternoon I was out in the garage and happened to look up.  Here is what I saw:

Then I got my camera to collect evidence.  I backed up and took a wider angle on the scene.

Then I realized there were not One but Two Wiley Coyote type traps in my dad's garage.

Well, all I have to say is if you make my dad mad, don't go out in the garage.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Trip to Tennessee

Wednesday the kids and I drove to Lewisberg Tennessee.  It took us about 8 1/2 hours, including two stops for gas, one for breakfast, one for lunch, and several pee stops.  The kids watched 4 1/2 movies, including Agent Cody Banks, Homeward Bound, two Scooby Doos videos, and half of Madagascar 2 Escape to Africa.

Are you bored yet?  Now multiply that by 500!  That was our Wednesday.  Until we arrived, of course.

Once at Gramma and Grandad's things got more fun.  The kids played with some of their favorite old toys here and then got to play with Gramma's new Wii.  I got to catch up with my parents a little bit.  And Aunt Jill brought her friend Tim to visit and for dinner.

Tim totally entertained my kids with conversation, card tricks, and then taught my son how to play poker.  Oh boy.  In the middle of the evening there was a huge thunderstorm and the power went out for a couple hours.   It came on just in time for us to turn out the lights and go to bed.

Jeremiah is going to read the new John Grisham book for kids Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer.  So far we know that the kid's parents are both lawyers, their dog is named Judge, and Jeremiah is speculating that the kid wants to be a lawyer so he doesn't have to go to school.

Today may have some fishing, some swimming, and some reading.  And who knows what else.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mom's Big Wet Behind

byline Sierra and Jeremiah -

News flash from Teen Magazine June 2, 2010:  A big war between the kids and the mom is underway.  And here are some pictures of the water balloon fight and mom's big booty.

Ammunition is ready.

Team "Mario" and "Sonic".

Team loser.

Mom's all wet!

Extra large wet behind.

The kids don't believe I'm willing to publish this but I love them SO MUCH that I'm willing to do this JUST for THEM.  Oh dear.

Hot dogs and Hockey

The pool was closed when we arrived after the rainstorm yesterday afternoon.  The Cubs lost again.  But Memorial Day was rescued by our friends and the Chicago Blackhawks.

We went to Nikki and Eric's house for dinner.  Nikki made the margaritas and guacamole.  I made potato salad.  The kids ran wild (not really, but when Nikki invited us over she said "why don't you come over for margaritas and we can let the kids run wild."  And I thought, who can refuse an offer like THAT!)  The kids, my two and their daughter Chloe, actually played together very nicely.  Except during dinner (which Eric cooked for us and it was delicious!)  when for just a couple minutes my kids did the brother-sister-teasing thing and even that was just kind of funny and sweet, as opposed to turning into a match worthy of the WWF. 

Dinner was great, thank you ERIC!  We had burgers and hot dogs and also...grilled asparagus.  Yes, it made my pee smell!  And Dad, no, I didn't have to work at smelling it.  It's just a natural aromatic!

On to the Blackhawks.  I don't watch hockey much.  In fact, the most minutes of hockey I watched this year was during the kids movie The Tooth Fairy.  And mostly I watched it because Duane Johnson (You may remember him from the WWF as The Rock...hey I wonder if he started out by picking on HIS little sister) is so...umm..funny, yes, funny.  No not handsome at all.  Not in a manly kind of way, no.  Ok, yes.  Except he did have to wear that pink tutu in that one scene.

So hockey...too rough for me to watch in person.  I tried a couple times, going to our local Bloomington Thunder games.  When I watch a hockey game, I have discovered that the further away I am from the action, the more I like the sport.  Once we got tickets in the 4th row right behind one of the goals.  No, no, no...too much body-slamming up right in my face.  Another time we sat in the upper level.  That was better.  But better yet is to watch on TV, if at all.

SO, the Chicago Blackhawks have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals this year.  And they won the first game earlier in the week, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers.  Two great cities, both of which I've lived in.  (preposition at the end of the sentence, I know. Live with it.)  The game last night was more than half over when we got home, so we just saw the end of it.  But it was Very Exciting and only one of us fell asleep watching it.  And it wasn't me this time.  Sierra conked out.  Jeremiah turned the sound off, and he and I watched the end of the game.  Chicago won, 2-1.  So now they are up 2-0 in the series. 

Chicago deserves a winning team of something soon, so I'm counting on you, Blackhawks!

Today we will be getting ready for our trip to Tennessee tomorrow.  I'll be finishing up laundry, shopping for a few items, packing, and practicing my accent.  Y'all come back now!